Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Suns – Game 73 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (36-37) | Phoenix Suns (38-34)


Thanks to three of their players scoring 25+ points, the Los Angeles Lakers have won two games in a row after defeating the Phoenix Suns 122-111

The Lakers vs Suns played a pivotal game Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

Lakers vs Suns Anthony Davis
Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

With this victory, the Los Angeles Lakers got their first regular-season win over the Phoenix Suns since May 9th, 2021. The Lakers improved to 36-37 and have another chance to hit the .500 mark. 

With the Utah Jazz losing to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers moved back into the play-in with this win over the Suns.

Austin Reaves once again starred in this one, totaling a career-high 11 assists, 25 points (6-for-10 FGs, 12-for-13 FTs), and four rebounds. Reaves entered the starting lineup for this game in place of Malik Beasley, and he only found out after Darvin Ham pulled him aside after practice to tell him he’d be starting. 

It was tip-off time for Lakers vs Suns

For me, it’s the same mindset, win at all costs,” Reaves said. “That’s all that really matters.”

The Lakers vs Suns start of the first half. 

Lakers vs Suns D'Angelo Russell
Photo Credit: Juan Ocampo/NBAE/Getty Images

The Lakers led 23-21 when Reaves reached 10 points with 52 seconds left in the first quarter. However, they allowed the Suns to score the quarter’s final five points, including a three off a defensive breakdown, to trail 26-23. Although Reaves continued to thrive offensively, and Los Angeles shot just 36.4 percent as a unit, their offense struggled to generate good looks early.

“I’m not gonna lie to you, dude is good, man,” D’Angelo Russell said of Reaves. “They love Austin. Whenever we can get him going, it helps our team.”

Russell put on a show himself, finishing with 26 points (9-for-13 FGs, 3-for-6 3s, 5-for-7 FTs), six assists, and two blocks. Anthony Davis didn’t produce early, scoring just seven of his 27 points (10-for-18 FGs, 7-for-10 FTs) in the first half. Davis also finished with nine rebounds and five assists.

His dumb*** coach started calling more plays for him,” Ham on Davis’ performance in the 2nd half.

Davis turned things around in the second half when he scored 14 points in the third quarter.

Dominant. He’s more than capable,” Russell said of Davis. “He dominated from inside out.”

For the Suns, Devin Booker scored 25 of his 33 points (11-for-16 FGs, 10-for-12 FTs) in the second half, along with six rebounds, five assists, and seven turnovers. Chris Paul totaled 18 points (8-for-17 FGs, 2-for-4 3s), four rebounds, and four assists.

It was a huge free throw edge for the Lakers in this one, as they lead the NBA in attempts (26.3) and converted 36-of-46 (78.3 percent) free throws against the Suns. Phoenix only went 15-of-20 (75 percent) from the charity stripe.

The Lakers vs Suns end of the first half. 

46 free throws is a lot,” Reaves said. “But if you get downhill a lot and have guys like AD and DLo who are really crafty, you’re gonna get a lot of fouls.”

The Lakers vs Suns start of the second half. 

Lakers vs Suns Anthony Davis and Devon Booker
Photo Credit: Juan Ocampo/NBAE/Getty Images

“Where do you see a game with 46 free throws for one team?” Suns head coach Monty Williams said. “That’s just not right. I don’t care how you slice it. It is happening to us too much. Other teams are reaching, other teams are hitting, and we’re not getting the same call, and I’m tired of it. It’s old. Forty-six to 20 free throws with Devin Booker on our team. He gets 12. I mean, our bench had no free throws. It’s just, I’m over it. Been talking about the same thing for a while. Doesn’t matter what team it is.”

A remarkable sequence from Troy Brown Jr., who hit a 3-pointer, stripped Booker clean, and threw down a 1-handed dunk with Booker contesting in transition. His five straight points had the Lakers up 51-46.

Los Angeles took a 59-52 lead into halftime, having led by as many as 12, before allowing a 6-1 run by Phoenix to close the half due to poor execution.

The Lakers took full advantage when Booker went to the bench for a brief rest, capitalizing with a 7-0 run to take a 106-98 lead with 6:03 to play before Booker returned. Los Angeles led 120-108 with one minute left and held on to win. Up next, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“I’m just trying to play the right way,” Reaves said at the end of the game. “Obviously without Bron try to be a little bit more aggressive and try to fill the void.”

The Lakers vs Suns final score was 122-111, Los Angeles. 

The Lakers now take on the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday, March 24th, at 7:30 p.m. PT. The game is on NBA League Pass, Bally Sports Southwest, and Spectrum SportsNet.


– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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